Treaty of Versaille

Treaty of Versaille

To what extent can it be argued that the Treaty of Versailles was the primary cause for the collapse of the Weimar Republic?

This essay will show that the Treaty of Versailles was not the primary cause of the collapse of the Weimar Republic. The collapse was caused by a combination of different factors. These factors were political, social and economic; no one factor could have caused enough damage to the Weimar Republic to make it collapse in such a relatively short time.

The government was made up of many different parties who only, therefore, represented a small group of people. For example the Social Democratic Party (SDP) represented the workers and the Communist Party (KPD) were supported by the Communists.

The democratic government was elected by a system called proportional representation. This meant that the party elected in had to hold the majority of seats so that they could pass laws that would be positive for Germany. However, because the amount of parties in the government it meant that no party elected would hold enough seats to have the majority; therefore, the party would have to form a coalition. These coalitions tended to be weak and because the parties couldn’t agree then it meant that laws were not passed and the coalitions broke up after only short periods of time. This showed that the weakness and the instability of the government and this meant that the German people had little confidence in this “temporary” government.

The constitution of the Weimar Republic contained Article 48. This article allowed the President, in emergency situations, to dissolve the Reichstag and take sole control. This article played its part in the collapse because it was easy to use and led to it being overused which caused a lot of political instability and upset the parties within the Republic. The over use of the article also made a mockery of the democratic system it had been built upon. It also helped to further cement the feelings of...

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